What is The Difference Between a Pacemaker and a Defibrillator?

When it comes to remote cardiac monitoring devices, there are numerous options to choose from. However, it mainly depends on the condition you have and what your cardiologist issues. For instance, a pacemaker and a defibrillator are two of the most common implantable devices that help treat arrhythmia. Both of these devices regulate the heart’s rhythm and are small enough to be inserted under your skin.

But the question is, what exactly is the difference between a pacemaker and a defibrillator? No matter how similar they may seem, there are bound to be certain characteristics that separate the two from one another. To find out what these qualities are and which cardiac monitoring option is best for you, continue reading this article.

What is a Pacemaker?

Pacemakers are tiny monitoring devices that are usually surgically implanted under the collarbone. Once inserted, pacemakers are responsible for keeping your heartbeat at a normal pace, ensuring the rhythm doesn’t falter. The instant your heart skips a beat or takes too long to pump, the device sends out small electrical pulses to jumpstart the routine, restoring the heartbeat. It is important to remember that even when there are no problems, a pacemaker operates via pulses, guiding your heartbeat.

Cardiologists typically issue a pacemaker for both a fast-racing heart and a slowed-down rhythm. While there are certain medications to help with slowing down the heart rate, in some cases, even that doesn’t seem to work, which is why a pacemaker is a good alternative.

What is a Defibrillator?

A defibrillator, or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), is a heart monitoring device inserted near your chest. The purpose of an ICD is to record and monitor the currents provided by your heart. It’s a device that aids people in recovery from cases of heart attack and arrhythmia.

If your heart goes into overdrive and the ventricles fill up with blood, indicating the onset of a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator will do what is needed to prevent that from happening. For instance, with an ICD, the electric pulses are issued right on time the moment your heartbeat turns irregular.

Difference Between A Pacemaker And A Defibrillator

The major distinction between a pacemaker and a defibrillator is that a pacemaker continuously provides regulatory pulses for the heart, no matter its condition. Even for a normal beating heart, pacemakers will keep sending out signals to ensure the rhythm is even. Whereas a defibrillator only tends to come alive when the heartbeat is faltering, be it too fast or too slow.

Final Takeaway

Ultimately, the difference between a pacemaker and a defibrillator lies in the frequency of their regulation. That is to say, a pacemaker is always active, sending subtle signals to the heart, but a defibrillator only comes alive when the heart’s rhythm is extremely abnormal. For more information on remote cardiac monitoring devices, feel free to contact Octagos Health at (281) 769-8733. You can also drop by and visit us in person at 13325 Hargrave Rd Suite 281, Houston, TX 77070. We are located on the first floor of the Hargrave Plaza.

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